A new study by Britain's IHS Janes defense and intelligence analysis agency confirms what many in the Intelligence community already believed: 50 percent of Syrian rebel forces are Islamist extremists.
The report estimates that 30,000 to 35,000 rebel fighters are hardline jihadists, 10,000 are affiliated with al Qaeda and around 30,000 belong to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. The remaining are non-Islamic freedom fighters.
According to the study, up to 1,000 different groups are represented among the rebel forces.
Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow with the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, recently told CBN News the three main groups are al Qaeda, the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front and the Tawid Brigade.
Spyer said the HIS Janes' report shows that the majority of rebel fighters are Sunni Islamists.